Sophie’s Universe Refriended

Is ‘to refriend’ actually a verb? I fear not. Well not to my generation anyway! However, that’s what’s happened in recent weeks 😊 After three months in a box, I managed to get my Sophie back on. Hurrah! I don’t think it’s unusual to suffer some kind of a mental block with this one. She truly is a labour of love! Here she is, grown from Part 6 to Part 7. I am now well in to Part 8. Will share update again soon…

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block going on too recently – just not feeling a posting urge – yet my crojo remains happily ON so there’s quite a lot to report! But I’ll make this one short and sweet, so I can hook just a lil bit more before my daughters return from school and preschool. And do a bit of secret Christmas stuff too – I love Christmas, I didn’t until I became a mum, but now I enjoy it more with each year they grow. My youngest just turned five and my eldest is seven. Here is a rare sharing of a picture of my life outside crochet ☺

Would you love to start a Sophie but feel a bit daunted by the prospect? Don’t be – the pattern instructions are amazing in their detail and Dedri writes in such a friendly and encouraging style! I have purchased the gorgeous book, but you can also find the entire pattern for free (wow!) here.

I started working on Sophie’s Universe in June of this year. Have you completed Sophie? How long did it take? 

Until next time,

Happy hooking! Pam x

Happy Granny Square Day 2017!

Belated wishes for International Granny Square Day! Did you hook a granny to mark this special occasion? Unfortunately I didn’t get any crochet time on the day itself, but I shared a few I’ve made in the past six months on Instagram, and in the days since I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the granny square explosion over there. I saw a really cool one with a spiral in the centre which inspired me to try my very first spiral myself this afternoon. Bit tricky but lots of fun!

Speaking of Instagram, @hooksandhills hit 2k followers overnight, which is quite a milestone! I’ve been on IG for a while but I’ve only really started actively interacting in the last four months or so. There is a fantastic, thriving crochet community over there and I enjoy great yarny chats with people from all over the world, plus of course one can’t help but be wildly inspired by the amazing crochet that people are posting on a daily basis. If you’re not already there, I encourage you to check it out πŸ™‚

In other news, as planned I’m blogging less and organising my time better. I wouldn’t say I’m totally on top of things – far from it! – but defintely going in the right direction. There is a little less dust – and a little more Sophie 😁

Until next time – happy hooking!

Wip Wednesday – Sophie, Willow & a Beanie

It’s the first week of the school hols and so far we have a good mix of home days and excursions going on – and there has been crochet, hurrah!

First up, a Sophie’s Universe update. I’m into part five now and still loving her soooooooo much! I’m really glad I bought the book (from Wool Warehouse – for some reason it’s not yet listed in my usual store, Book Depository), it’s just beautiful. 

I’m also making pleasant and steady progress on my new Willow baby blanket (pattern by Jan Eaton in 200 Crochet Blocks). Six down, fourteen to go!

Lastly, I ordered some Cleckheaton California 8ply on a whim last week while purchasing some Lincraft Cakes to try. It’s beautiful 100% wool and last night I started a beanie – the colourway is ‘Circus’ and I love it! I took it to the play centre today and got a few rounds in while my girls worked off some of their boundless energy with friends. I got chatting to another woman with wool in her hands – not a common sight! – who was doing Afghan crochet, which I’ve never seen before. So interesting! With a giant knitting needle with a hook on the end, which I assumed was a Tunisian hook but apparently not. I must google. Great to see public crochet and enjoy some impromptu yarny chat!

I’ve never actually made a beanie before, not wearing them myself. If it works out ok I’ll share the pattern I found. I plan to donate it to a charity silent auction that’s happening up the coast later in the month, in aid of brain cancer research. I’m not sure of the origins of this event but there seem to be several going on – search Facebook ‘Beanies for Brain Cancer’ for information local to you if you’d like to be involved.

And that’s it from me for now. Must get dinner on. If hols allow, I’ll be back Friday. Meantime, I wish you happy hooking πŸ˜€

Happy Mail!

I ordered a copy of Dedri Uys’ book of her 2015 CAL, Sophie’s Universe, from Wool Warehouse on the 18th of this month. I was so surprised and excited when it arrived this morning – only 8 days, from England! It’s my first order from this company, and based on this experience there will most certainly be another! 

My purchase was something of an indulgence, as all parts of the pattern are available for free online, but I turned 43 at the weekend, so I consider it a birthday gift to self πŸ™‚ It will be great not to be scrolling around and squinting at a screen of an evening – and the book is absolutely beautiful, I am thrilled! 

While browsing the site, I came across a Stylecraft shade card, which seemed a sensible purchase, being as I’m 22,000km from the source! It’s great to have all the colours to hand for future orders. I’m really enjoying using some of my Stylecraft Special DK stash for Sophie, and will definitely be buying more.

Nothing further to report today – I’m hooked on hooking Sophie at the moment! I do plan to start another baby blanket in the next few days though, using a square from the wonderful 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton, one of my favourite crochet books, so I’ll share a bit about that later in the week. Until then, I wish you happy hooking πŸ˜€

Sophie’s Irresistible Universe

I finished Sophie’s Mandala a couple of days ago and couldn’t wait to start Sophie’s Universe. So I did! 

I first became aware of this beautiful pattern a couple of years ago but only plucked up the courage to get stuck in last month. Parts 1-3 can stand alone as a mandala, and completing it was a great way to gain the confidence to finally start working on the Universe. The pattern is magnificent – not only beautiful but incredibly detailed in terms of instructions, photographs, pointers and links to stitch tutorials. 

My mandala is not perfect, but in the making and sharing of my work I discovered that a small mistake that’s blindingly obvious to me is most likely unnoticeable to anyone else, and ultimately won’t take away from the finished piece as a whole. Indeed, the designer herself, Dedri Uys, commented on my Instagram, telling me that she keeps at least one little imperfection in every project – and she complimented me on my neat tension, and my colours! I’ve not been that excited about a brush with celebrity since the first time I saw my elusive neighbour Russel Crowe in the village cafΓ© 😁 And with encouragement like that, how could I not grab my hook and yarn and start Sophie’s Universe immediately! I’m just coming to the end of Part 3 now, so almost into exciting unchartered waters πŸ™‚

As an aside, while I was working on the mandala, I listened to Marie Segares interview Dedri on the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show. Dedri talks a lot about the creation of Sophie, and is very candid about her experiences as a designer. It’s a fun and inspiring podcast and well worth a listen. I’m quite new to the world of podcasts in general and crochet podcasts in particular, but I’m already finding some great crochet chat out there – I’ll compile a list to share soon.  Please let me know if you have any faves πŸ™‚

To Frog Or Not To Frog?

That was my question last night! I started Sophie’s Garden by Dedri Uys about a month ago. Progress had stalled at round 18 at the prospect of attempting popcorns in fingering with a 3mm hook – my being unfamiliar with all three elements πŸ™‚ 

I finally got stuck in again a couple of days ago, alas blissfully unaware that I’d already made a mistake! Not an earth shattering error such as an entirely missed tall front post stitch – which also happened but I caught it before too much damage done! – but one which caused all the petals to be ever so slighly asymmetrical, and which only became apparent to me after a good few more rounds.

The horror!! However, I couldn’t bear to frog all that work, so reached a pleasant compromise instead. I kept hooking until the end of Part 3, including the optional crab stitch round, to complete Sophie’s Mandala, instead of continuing with Part 4, which squares the mandala into Sophie’s Garden. All is not lost! Furthermore, it seems that while the dire consequences of one misplaced stitch are blindingly obvious to me, they are much less noticeable to anyone else. Are you your own worst critic of your work too?!

So, my Sopie taster is complete and I loved hooking her – a challenging and enjoyable project in which I learned so much! I’m now comfortable with popcorns, clusters and front post stitches, and enjoyed the crab stitch refresher. There is most definitely a Sophie’s Universe in my future πŸ˜€

Have you made Sophie’s Mandala, Garden, Universe or Extended Universe? Did you work from the free tutorials or have you invested in the recently published book? Would you recommend it? It’s my birthday next week, I think I might buy myself a wee gift… πŸ˜€

Wip Wednesday – Sophie’s Garden

This week I’ve both started and finished (!?) a project – an infinity scarf in Caron Cakes which I’m delighted with, and will share later in the week. I also decided to increase the size of my block blanket, so that’s going to be a wip into next week now. I promised myself I wouldn’t start anything else major until the blanket was finished. However! I just couldn’t wait any longer to begin Sophie’s Garden!

Sophie’s Garden became Sophie’s Universe, which I now know without doubt will be my next big project because I’m just loving hooking this!! I’ll be working the Universe in dk – I’m currently eagerly and most impatiently awaiting my first delivery of Stylecraft Special DK!! – but my Garden is in fingering (Moda Vera Gelato and Patons Regal 4ply Cotton) with a 3mm hook.

It is such a beautiful, clever and intricate pattern, with the most amazingly detailed, helpful instructions. I am in awe of the amount of effort and loving care that clearly went into its creation. Concentration and focus is required and it’s not something that can be done when I’m tired or in the company of small children – a little limiting given I’m a stay at home mum to a preschooler plus one school age! But I’ve found my Sophie window in the hour after my daughters go to bed, and I will patiently hook (and frog haha) a little Sophie love each and every evening, for as long as it happily takes ☺